Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Art of Racing with the flu (or something)



Wow. Barry-Roubaix did not go as planned. NOT AT ALL!!!

Actually I didn't have much of a plan going into the race, but I did want to get a really hard training day in. I wanted to go out hard, and stay in a fast paced group the entire time. I figured that my legs would be a little tired going into the race, but hoped to just push past that.

Now here's what happened:

The flu is going around here big time, but I usually only get it once every couple of years. And when I do get it, I know that I am sick-because I'm usually flat on my back and unable to move. This was different. All week leading up to the race I felt crummy, but never to where I couldn't function. I was abnormally tired, but blamed it on training. I was slightly achy, but thought it was due to training. And my stomach was all swirly-like and I felt like crap anytime I ate. I thought that part was a little weird, but figured I would be better by race day. When my legs started cramping the night before the race I got a little worried, but there was nothing I could do at that point except try to stay hydrated.

Race Day:

Trying to keep warm at the start...
There were 12 women registered in the 65 mile class, but we were all mixed in with the guys and I had no clue where anyone was. Within the 1st mile I realized it didn't matter where any of my competition was anyways. I felt awful. And not the "tired from training," type of awful. It was the I am completely depleted-I can't move-flu type of feeling. ugh...ugh...ugh.

It basically took all of my willpower just to keep pedaling. The worst part of the race for me were the climbs. I wouldn't say that I'm a great climber, but normally I can hold my own on them. Not this time. My legs were aching and I felt like my muscles were completely gone.

There were over 900 racers out on the course and I ended up riding the whole thing alone most of the time. First the front pack dropped me. Then the middle pack dropped me. Then the end of the pack dropped me. I'm quite certain that if my mom were racing she would have dropped me. In fact, after the race I kept trying to tell her how slow I was going, and kept saying, "I was going SO SLOW even you would have beat me mom." My poor mom. I think she got a little annoyed after my third time of saying that, ha ha!

So, this race ended up being a battle all right, but not for the podium. It ended up being a physical and mental battle with myself. Physically because I was certain that I was dying and mentally because I wanted to quit. The race was 2 laps long, and going out for another 35 miles was not pleasant.

BUT....

I am really glad I didn't bail for a million different reasons. First of all, I never want to think I have the option to quit. Because I think that once you quit it becomes easier to do it the next time. Plus I know myself well enough to know that I would beat myself up about it forever. And I'm already down and out with the flu. Think of how much worse I would feel if I were also beating myself up :-) And believe it or not, I try to keep things in perspective. If all I have to worry about is racing 65 miles while feeling like absolute poo...then I'm lucky.


So I finished...proof that if you keep pedaling you will eventually get to the finish line. I ended up in 5th place out of 6 finishers. Woo hoo. To tell you the truth, I was just really, really happy to get home and in bed. And I spent the rest of the day in bed...plotting for Barry-Roubaix 2012. Ha ha, just kidding. But I do plan on going back, hopefully sans flu. It's a great race and Rick, Cathy and co. do a terrific job of putting it on.

After a day and a half of non-stop drinking (diet Canada Dry) and watching TV, I am slowly starting to feel human again. I think I can finally eat again too. Scott just spent 4 hours making chicken pot pies from scratch, and they look ridiculously good!!! Apparently he thinks I eat a lot!

5 comments:

Craig said...

Great job Danielle! Way to hang tough and finish. Best of luck at Paris-Ancaster.

Ali B. said...

It was difficult for me to stick it out just being a spectator... Great job at hanging in there!

®andyA said...

Glad to see you finished. I made a vain attempt to pull you about mid-way through the first lap (I was the rider on the green CCC and Trails Edge kit). I figured you were having a bad day, but didn't realize you were having *that* bad a day. I was riding for awhile and looked back and just assumed you were still there, only to see you were not. Either way, great job winning the battle of not DNF'ing!

Randy

Danielle Musto said...

Thanks everyone!

@Randy-I remember you :-) Thanks for the attempt but I couldn't hang on anyones wheel that day!!! Oh well, since it didn't kill me I can only hope that it made me stronger...ha ha!

Ayasha Kieth said...

I miss this kind of event. Well, anyway, I'm planning to have one race. Good job guys, keep it up.

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